Scrambler Motorbikes and Quad Bikes: Motion (Resumed) [Private Members]

The following motion was moved by Deputy Paul Donnelly on Tuesday, 17 November 2020:
That Dáil Éireann:
acknowledges that:
— the unlawful use of quad-bikes and scrambler motorcycles has resulted in serious injury and death;
— Gardaí do not have the required training, resources or legislative powers to effectively address the unlawful and dangerous use of quad-bikes and scrambler motorcycles;
— the current practice is that Gardaí do not follow or apprehend those using or driving quad-bikes or scrambler motorcycles in an unlawful or dangerous manner;
— the scourge of scrambler motorcycles and off-road motorbikes is at an all-time high in urban centres across the State, with some cases where parents are afraid to allow young children out to play in housing estates and public parks;
— elderly people who use local parks for recreation are afraid to go for their daily walk and that local sports clubs have been forced to abandon their activities where their pitches have been destroyed by the illegal use of scrambler motorcycles and quadbikes;
— there are reports from communities that quad-bikes and scrambler motorcycles are being used for the delivery and distribution of drugs, in order to avoid apprehension by the Gardaí;
— the current legislation is not adequate to effectively address this issue and needs to be reformed, amended and robustly enforced; and
— public parks and community recreational facilities have been damaged as a result of the unlawful use of quad-bikes and scrambler motorcycles, at significant cost to local authorities; and
calls on the Government to:
— bring forward, as a matter of urgency, amending legislation to give the Gardaí powers to seize and detain quad-bikes and scrambler motorcycles when being used unlawfully or in a dangerous or reckless manner;
— extend the relevant legal definition of public place to include public parks, green spaces in estates, public recreational areas and sporting grounds under the ownership of local authorities or clubs;
— ensure that Gardaí are provided with the necessary resources and training to follow and apprehend those using quad-bikes and scrambler motorcycles unlawfully;
— extend the National Vehicle and Driver File database, to provide for the compulsory registration of all quad-bikes and scrambler motorcycles;
— conduct a review of practices in other jurisdictions which result in the police performing a controlled stop on those illegally riding motorcycles and scrambler motorcycles;
— introduce, as a standard operational practice, the successful pilot scheme rolled out in Finglas in 2019, which resulted in the seizure of over 40 motorcycles and scrambler motorcycles which were being used illegally on the roads;
— put in place a campaign to highlight the dangers of scrambler motorcycles and quadbikes, when driven recklessly or in public places;
— run an effective public awareness campaign in the run-up to Christmas to discourage the purchase of such vehicles for children and young people; and
— encourage local authorities to explore the feasibility of providing suitable spaces for the use of registered quad-bikes and scrambler motorcycles in a safe, controlled and responsible manner.
Debate resumed on amendment No. 1:
To delete all words after “Dáil Éireann” and substitute the following:
“is concerned that:
— the misuse of scrambler motorcycles, quad-bikes and other vehicles is a matter of public concern and has led to serious safety risks and interference with the enjoyment of amenities for communities in some areas of the country; and
— regrettably, the misuse of these vehicles has resulted in death or serious injury in some cases;
notes that:
— An Garda Síochána pursue appropriate policing strategies with due regard to the need to ensure that responses to the misuse of vehicles do not lead to increased and exacerbated public safety risks;
— An Garda Síochána pursue consistent law enforcement practices by responding appropriately to incidents and local circumstances;
— the existing legislation requires the safe use of vehicles as well as compliance with conditions for driver licensing, motor taxation and insurance, and the relevant legislative provisions have already been subject of close examination by Government departments and advice from the Attorney General;
— Gardaí already have significant enforcement powers in relation to dangerous misuse of vehicles and non-compliance with regulations on driver licensing, taxation and insurance, including seizure of vehicles where appropriate;
— the Government has provided extensive resources to An Garda Síochána to support law enforcement and effective policing;
— Gardaí successes in the seizure of vehicles underline the need to continue to support An Garda Síochána to respond to local situations and provide appropriate resources and technical support; and
— An Garda Síochána continues to provide a robust policing response to the trade in illegal drugs and to adopt intelligence-led approaches to counter the activities of criminal groups, notwithstanding the current pressures on the Garda service due to the restrictions resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic; and
supports:
— the Programme for Government ‘Our Shared Future’ commitment to enhance powers available to An Garda Síochána to limit the use of scrambler motorcycles and quad-bikes by those engaged in anti-social behaviour and enact legislation to add to those powers if needed;
— the recent publicity campaign by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána to discourage the purchase of scrambler motorcycles and quad-bikes, particularly in the run up to Christmas;
— the ongoing engagement between Government departments and agencies to assess if there are any further means of strengthening legislation in this area, as well as enhancing enforcement measures, public awareness raising and community-based responses;
— the ongoing development of policing responses by An Garda Síochána;
— the ongoing engagement between An Garda Síochána, local authorities and communities, to support appropriate responses to local circumstances;
— the ongoing work of the RSA to raise awareness of the dangers of misuse of vehicles;
— the additional resources provided by Government in Budget 2021 for youth services;
— the imminent publication of a new Youth Justice Strategy which will provide a renewed framework to enhance responses to youth crime and anti-social behaviour;
— the work of the forum on anti-social behaviour, which was recently convened by the Minister of State for Law Reform, in line with a commitment in the Programme for Government ‘Our Shared Future’; and
— the recent announcement to pilot local community safety partnerships which recognise the need for a collaborative approach between communities, local authorities and services, including policing and youth services, to effectively target issues affecting communities, such as anti-social behaviour, including through the misuse of scrambler motorcycles.”
- (Minister for Justice)

I must now deal with a postponed division relating to amendment No. 1 to the motion regarding protecting communities from the unlawful use of scrambler motorcycles and quad bikes in public spaces. Yesterday, on the question, "That amendment No. 1 to the motion be agreed to", a division was claimed and that division must be taken now.

Amendment put:
The Dáil divided: Tá, 84; Níl, 57; Staon, 0.

  • Berry, Cathal.
  • Brophy, Colm.
  • Browne, James.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Colm.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Butler, Mary.
  • Byrne, Thomas.
  • Cahill, Jackie.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Canney, Seán.
  • Cannon, Ciarán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Carroll MacNeill, Jennifer.
  • Chambers, Jack.
  • Collins, Niall.
  • Costello, Patrick.
  • Coveney, Simon.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • Crowe, Cathal.
  • Devlin, Cormac.
  • Dillon, Alan.
  • Donnelly, Stephen.
  • Donohoe, Paschal.
  • Duffy, Francis Noel.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Feighan, Frankie.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Flaherty, Joe.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Fleming, Sean.
  • Foley, Norma.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Haughey, Seán.
  • Higgins, Emer.
  • Hourigan, Neasa.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Lahart, John.
  • Lawless, James.
  • Leddin, Brian.
  • Lowry, Michael.
  • MacSharry, Marc.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • Martin, Catherine.
  • Matthews, Steven.
  • McAuliffe, Paul.
  • McEntee, Helen.
  • McGrath, Michael.
  • McHugh, Joe.
  • McNamara, Michael.
  • Moynihan, Aindrias.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Murnane O'Connor, Jennifer.
  • Murphy, Eoghan.
  • Murphy, Verona.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Noonan, Malcolm.
  • O'Brien, Darragh.
  • O'Brien, Joe.
  • O'Callaghan, Jim.
  • O'Connor, James.
  • O'Donnell, Kieran.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • O'Gorman, Roderic.
  • O'Sullivan, Christopher.
  • O'Sullivan, Pádraig.
  • Ó Cathasaigh, Marc.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • Rabbitte, Anne.
  • Richmond, Neale.
  • Ryan, Eamon.
  • Shanahan, Matt.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Smyth, Niamh.
  • Smyth, Ossian.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Troy, Robert.

Níl

  • Andrews, Chris.
  • Barry, Mick.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Brady, John.
  • Browne, Martin.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Cairns, Holly.
  • Carthy, Matt.
  • Clarke, Sorca.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Collins, Michael.
  • Conway-Walsh, Rose.
  • Cronin, Réada.
  • Crowe, Seán.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • Daly, Pa.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Donnelly, Paul.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Farrell, Mairéad.
  • Funchion, Kathleen.
  • Gould, Thomas.
  • Guirke, Johnny.
  • Harkin, Marian.
  • Healy-Rae, Danny.
  • Healy-Rae, Michael.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Kelly, Alan.
  • Kenny, Martin.
  • Kerrane, Claire.
  • Mac Lochlainn, Pádraig.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • Munster, Imelda.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Murphy, Paul.
  • Mythen, Johnny.
  • Nash, Ged.
  • Nolan, Carol.
  • O'Callaghan, Cian.
  • O'Donoghue, Richard.
  • O'Rourke, Darren.
  • Ó Broin, Eoin.
  • Ó Murchú, Ruairí.
  • Ó Ríordáin, Aodhán.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Ryan, Patricia.
  • Sherlock, Sean.
  • Shortall, Róisín.
  • Smith, Bríd.
  • Smith, Duncan.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Tully, Pauline.
  • Ward, Mark.
  • Whitmore, Jennifer.

Staon

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Brendan Griffin and Jack Chambers; Níl, Deputies Denise Mitchell and Pádraig Mac Lochlainn.
Amendment declared carried.
Question put: "That the motion, as amended, be agreed to."
The Dáil divided: Tá, 85; Níl, 57; Staon, 0.

  • Berry, Cathal.
  • Brophy, Colm.
  • Browne, James.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Colm.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Butler, Mary.
  • Byrne, Thomas.
  • Cahill, Jackie.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Canney, Seán.
  • Cannon, Ciarán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Carroll MacNeill, Jennifer.
  • Chambers, Jack.
  • Collins, Niall.
  • Costello, Patrick.
  • Coveney, Simon.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • Crowe, Cathal.
  • Devlin, Cormac.
  • Dillon, Alan.
  • Donnelly, Stephen.
  • Donohoe, Paschal.
  • Duffy, Francis Noel.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Feighan, Frankie.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Flaherty, Joe.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Fleming, Sean.
  • Foley, Norma.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Haughey, Seán.
  • Higgins, Emer.
  • Hourigan, Neasa.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Lawless, James.
  • Leddin, Brian.
  • Lowry, Michael.
  • MacSharry, Marc.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • Martin, Catherine.
  • Matthews, Steven.
  • McAuliffe, Paul.
  • McConalogue, Charlie.
  • McEntee, Helen.
  • McGrath, Michael.
  • McHugh, Joe.
  • McNamara, Michael.
  • Moynihan, Aindrias.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Murnane O'Connor, Jennifer.
  • Murphy, Eoghan.
  • Murphy, Verona.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Noonan, Malcolm.
  • O'Brien, Darragh.
  • O'Brien, Joe.
  • O'Callaghan, Jim.
  • O'Connor, James.
  • O'Donnell, Kieran.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • O'Gorman, Roderic.
  • O'Sullivan, Christopher.
  • O'Sullivan, Pádraig.
  • Ó Cathasaigh, Marc.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • Rabbitte, Anne.
  • Richmond, Neale.
  • Ryan, Eamon.
  • Shanahan, Matt.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Smyth, Niamh.
  • Smyth, Ossian.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Troy, Robert.
  • Varadkar, Leo.

Níl

  • Andrews, Chris.
  • Barry, Mick.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Brady, John.
  • Browne, Martin.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Cairns, Holly.
  • Carthy, Matt.
  • Clarke, Sorca.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Collins, Michael.
  • Conway-Walsh, Rose.
  • Cronin, Réada.
  • Crowe, Seán.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • Daly, Pa.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Donnelly, Paul.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Farrell, Mairéad.
  • Fitzmaurice, Michael.
  • Funchion, Kathleen.
  • Gould, Thomas.
  • Guirke, Johnny.
  • Harkin, Marian.
  • Healy-Rae, Michael.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Kelly, Alan.
  • Kenny, Martin.
  • Kerrane, Claire.
  • Mac Lochlainn, Pádraig.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • Munster, Imelda.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Murphy, Paul.
  • Mythen, Johnny.
  • Nash, Ged.
  • Nolan, Carol.
  • O'Callaghan, Cian.
  • O'Donoghue, Richard.
  • O'Rourke, Darren.
  • Ó Broin, Eoin.
  • Ó Murchú, Ruairí.
  • Ó Ríordáin, Aodhán.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Ryan, Patricia.
  • Sherlock, Sean.
  • Shortall, Róisín.
  • Smith, Bríd.
  • Smith, Duncan.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Tully, Pauline.
  • Ward, Mark.
  • Whitmore, Jennifer.

Staon

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Brendan Griffin and Jack Chambers; Níl, Deputies Denise Mitchell and Pádraig Mac Lochlainn.
Question declared carried.
The Dáil adjourned at 10.05 p.m. until 10.30 a.m. on Thursday, 19 November 2020.